GVC in the News — Weekly Round-up for January 25, 2019

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Jan 25, 2019

GVC Admitted To Ftse4good Index

Endorsement for strong Environmental, Social and Governance Practices

GVC Holdings has announced its admission to the FTSE4Good Index Series following the FTSE4Good’s annual review in December 2018.

Launched in 2001, the FTSE4Good Index Series measures the performance of companies demonstrating strong Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices. Transparent management and clearly-defined ESG criteria make FTSE4Good indexes suitable tools to be used by a wide variety of market participants when creating or assessing sustainable investment products.

GVC was admitted to the index following independent assessment of its practices and public documents against a series of criteria including:

  • Governance (including: risk management, corporate governance, anti-corruption);
  • Social practices (including: human rights, labour standards and health & safety);
  • Environmental commitments (including: energy usage, waste management).

Kenneth Alexander, chief executive officer, GVC:

“We are proud to join FTSE4Good and be recognised as a leader in corporate social responsibility, which is at the core everything we do as a business. Acting responsibly and maintaining strong governance is not a luxury but fundamental to our long-term success and a key driver of shareholder value.”

GVC Puts Its Money Where Its Responsible Gambling Mouth Is

Funds $5 million in major research collaboration and launches responsible gambling campaign

GVC Holdings PLC has launched a global responsible gambling campaign, ‘Changing for the Bettor’, which is being spearheaded by a major new research project into problem gambling with the Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital.

The campaign comprises of seven pillars, each of which have substantive projects attached:

  • Understanding the problem and best solutions – Including the five-year, multi-million pound research project with the Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital.
  • Educating key stakeholders – Including the national roll out of youth education programmes with the charity GamCare in the UK – the largest project of its kind in the UK, as well as a state-school awareness campaign with EPIC Risk Management.
  • Promoting responsible attitudes – Leading the industry in recently agreeing a ban on pre-watershed gambling adverts on television, around live sports.
  • Empowering customers – Rolling out a ‘markers of harm’ algorithm to all UK facing parts of the business.
  • Funding treatment for those in need – Doubling its donation to research, education and treatment on problem gambling to 0.2 percent of gross gaming revenue (GGR).
  • Championing responsible product design – Developing more responsible product design principles.
  • Drive cultural change within the business – Ensuring that a safer gambling approach underpins all aspects of GVC’s business which involves working in consultation with the Safer Online Gambling Group.

The company said fundamental to its commitment to better understand and reduce the potential for problem gambling behaviour to develop will be investment in rigorous research.

The Group will invest $5 million into a new partnership with Harvard Medical School’s Division on Addiction over the next five years. GVC will provide Harvard faculty at the Division with access to anonymised player data across a range of its brands, sports betting, and gaming products.

The research will be broad ranging, focusing on a number of areas including, but not limited to:

  • Patterns of normal internet gambling behaviour.
  • Behavioural markers of gambling problems among internet players generally and on specific betting and game types.
  • Cross-product and cross-brand analyses.
  • The effects of the expansion of gambling in new markets.

Within this approach, researchers will seek to evaluate the effectiveness of algorithms used by GVC and other operators to detect at-risk behaviours, assess the effectiveness of intervention messaging and the impact of operator’s responsible gaming tools, a press statement reads.

GVC’s Director of Responsible Gaming, Grainne Hurst:

“Whilst the vast majority of our customers enjoy playing with us in a safe and fun environment we are aware that for some players, gambling can impact their lives negatively.

“We are committed to leading the industry in minimising potential harm caused by problem gambling. That is why we are today launching Changing for the Bettor and have partnered with Harvard faculty at the Division on Addiction to help us to better understand and tackle the issues around problem gambling.”

Mims Davies MP, UK Gambling Minister:

“Gambling operators have a key role to play in protecting people from harm and identifying potentially risky betting behaviour. Research is essential to progress in this area and GVC’s ‘Changing for the Bettor’ campaign will make an important contribution to tackling problem gambling.

“We are committed to protecting consumers across the country and are working with industry to create a healthy and more socially responsible sector.”

Dr. Howard Shaffer, Morris E. Chafetz Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the Field of Behavioural Sciences, Harvard Medical School and Director, Division on Addiction:

“It is only by taking an evidence-based approach to examining gambling that we can develop better strategies and tools to limit its potential to cause harm.

“The collaboration with GVC that we have announced today will play a significant role in advancing our knowledge about gambling and intemperate gambling and is warmly welcomed.”

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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